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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-06
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
06.11.2002FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER TO MEET WITH ERDOGAN, BAYKALPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer is scheduled tomorrow to receive the leaders of the two parties which will enter Parliament as a result of Sunday’s elections, namely the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP). AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose party will single-handedly form the new government, will meet with the president at 11:00 a.m., while Sezer will see incoming opposition party CHP leader Deniz Baykal at 11:30 a.m. /All Papers/
 CURRENT CABINET TO CONVENE FOR ITS FINAL MEETINGThe Cabinet for the current government is set to have its final meeting today. The gathering will be chaired by Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit. The council met 115 times during the three-plus years of the 57th coalition government’s term in office. Also present at the meeting will be Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, both of whom, following Ecevit, vowed to step down from their parties’ helms after being defeated in Sunday’s elections. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH BAYKALYesterday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal paid a visit to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the winning party in Sunday’s general elections, the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Following their half-hour meeting, Baykal told reporters that the CHP, the only party to be represented in Parliament besides the AKP, would contribute to finding solutions to Turkey’s problems thorough acting responsibly and cooperating with the ruling government. “We wanted to make a democratic and civilized beginning with this meeting,” Baykal said. For his part, Erdogan stated that the aim of his upcoming visits to the European Union member countries’ prime ministers was to help get a date at next month’s Copenhagen summit for Turkey’s EU membership talks. Before these visits, we will exchange views with the CHP, Erdogan stated. He added that the process of establishing a new government would be carried out with all due speed. /All Papers/
 ERDOGAN ADVOCATES BELGIAN MODEL FOR PERMANENT SOLUTION ON CYPRUSIn an interview with Greek TV channel NET yesterday, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan laid out his party’s views on the Cyprus issue. Stating that the AKP, the winner in Sunday’s general elections, supported the Belgian model for a permanent solution on the island, Erdogan recalled that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan had previously recommended the same model, a federal and consociational governance based on equality between the constituent parts and the central government. Stating that he hoped the talks between the two leaders of the island, Rauf Denktas and Glafcos Clerides, would bring about positive, constructive results towards a solution to the problem, Erdogan added that Turkey expected Greece to support its EU membership bid. Meanwhile, Greek and Greek Cypriot officials remarked that if Turkey officially adopts a Cyprus policy advocating the Belgian model, then the island’s problems might be near their end. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday stated that this was the first time the Belgian model had been advocated by such a key Turkish political figure, a development he hailed as positive. /Aksam/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS TO BRIEF ERDOGAN ON TURKISH-EU RELATIONSForeign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and Secretary-General for EU Affairs Volkan Vural are to brief Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan today on Turkish-EU relations. Erdogan will receive information on the latest developments in relations with the EU as well as the expectations of the EU countries and Turkey’s commitments. Erdogan will also meet with the ambassadors of the 15 EU member states at a banquet in the evening. /Aksam/
 CHIEF OF STAFF OZKOK MEETS WITH CHENEY, MYERSChief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, currently in the midst of a visit to Washington, yesterday held separate meetings with US Vice President Dick Cheney and Gen. Richard Myers, his US counterpart. In the latter meeting, the two military leaders reportedly discussed US plans for a possible operation in Iraq, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), and Turkish-US cooperation in the defense industry. After seeing Myers, Ozkok also met with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Ozkok is due to return to Turkey this Saturday. /Turkiye/
 US AMBASSADOR PEARSON VISITS BAYKALRobert Pearson, the United States ambassador to Turkey, yesterday paid a visit to Deniz Baykal, the leader of Turkey’s incoming opposition party the Republican People’s Party (CHP). Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Pearson said that the US wanted Turkey to continue to effectively carry out the current economic program. He stated that for its part, the US would continue to support Turkey’s European Union membership bid and its fight against corruption. He added that the US favored setting a date at the EU’s Copenhagen summit for Turkey’s membership negotiations. /Turkiye/
 YUCELEN RESIGNS FROM ANAP POSTFormer Interior Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) Deputy Chairman Rustu Kazim Yucelen yesterday resigned from his party’s administrative post. /Turkiye/
 EUROPEAN PRESS HAILS AKP VICTORYNewspapers across Europe, including those in European Union member countries, yesterday hailed Sunday’s election victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), saying it could lead to a better future for Turkey provided the party keeps its pledge to continue Turkey’s secularist, pro-EU stance. Italian daily La Repubblica stated that worries about the AKP’s intentions were unfounded, since the party has declared it will act in accordance with Turkey’s Constitution. British daily the Independent said the AKP had benefitted from a large protest vote, adding that it had “a timely chance to show that a Muslim party can run a secular state.” German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung predicted that the new government would bring Turkey and the EU closer together, and Belgium’s Le Soir said AKP rule could provide stability. In related news, French Foreign Minister spokesman Francois Rivesseau yesterday urged the new AKP government to implement the Copenhagen criteria in order to better Turkey’s chances of getting a date for its EU membership negotiations. /Milliyet/
 SOLANA MAKES CONGRATULATORY PHONE CALL TO ERDOGANJavier Solana, the European Union’s foreign affairs and security high representative, yesterday made a courtesy telephone call to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and development Party (AKP), the winner in Sunday’s general elections. Christina Gallach, Solana’s press spokesperson, said that Solana had called Erdogan in order to convey his congratulations on the AKP’s election victory. According to Gallach, Solana stated that the EU wanted to establish constructive cooperation with Turkey’s new government similar to that enjoyed with the outgoing government. Solana also added that he expected to soon meet with the new government’s representatives in Brussels. /Turkiye/
 EP CHAIRMAN COX: “THE RESULTS OF SUNDAY’S ELECTIONS SHOWED TURKEY’S POLITICAL WILL”European Parliament Chairman Pat Cox yesterday stated that the EP respected the results of Sunday’s general elections in Turkey as an expression of the nation’s political will. Cox yesterday met with Oguz Demiralp, Turkey’s permanent representative in Brussels to the EU. Remarking that the results of the polls displayed once again that Turkey is a modern country governed by representative democracy, Cox added that Turkish political circles should discuss the political intentions of the new administration rather than speculate on the possible results of a government established by a Muslim democratic party. Cox stressed that genuine political intentions were more important than labels. /Cumhuriyet/
 BUSINESSMEN HOPEFUL ON RESULTS OF GENERAL ELECTIONSTurkey’s business world yesterday evaluated the victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Sunday’s elections as a positive development for the stability of the nation’s economy. Istanbul Chamber of Industry Chairman Tanil Kucuk stated that the results of the general elections displayed the Turkish nation’s wish to restructure the entire political fabric. Stating that he hoped a single-party government would bring stability and consistency to the country, Kucuk added that foreign investors would also feel more secure in such a stable atmosphere. Other prominent businessmen such as Cem Boyner and Antalya Chamber of Industry and Commerce Chairman Menderes Turel stated that the AKP’s program, which was prepared in light of the full impact of the recent financial crisis, both supported the IMF-backed economic program and advocated secular, democratic values. Turel also underlined that what was critical for Turkey was to bring an end to the political instability which had recently plunged the county into chaos. /Cumhuriyet/
 EP REPORT URGES PROGRESS IN TURKEY, INCREASED EU FINANCIAL SUPPORTTurkey must continue working to meet a number of requirements to further its EU membership bid, said a European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee report officially adopted yesterday. The report’s section on Turkey states that Turkey should give the utmost priority to progress on human rights, religious freedom, protection of minorities, and a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue. The report also requests that the EU Commission boost its financial support given to Turkey in line with its candidacy status. In related news, EP Chairman Pat Cox yesterday said that he hoped that Turkey’s incoming government would continue to pursue firmer grounds for Turkish-EU relations. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 “REFLEX,” ERDOGAN AND BAYKAL BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the results of the elections held on Sunday. A summary of his column is as follows:
“How much do our opinions have to do with the truth, and how much do they merely reflect fantasies, paranoia and dreams? In May 1999, Prime Minister Ecevit established a coalition with the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP). During that year’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) general assembly, Hasan Fehmi Gunes, one of the party’s candidates for leadership, said, ‘I know them [the nationalists] from the period before 1980. They committed acts of murder. They said that they have changed, but actually they’re still the same. Their supporters will now attack leftist students. The CHP should establish focal points of resistance to protect them, and we have to lead the anti-fascist front.’ Replying to Gunes, Zeynep Gogus wrote, ‘If we leave these issues to Mr. Gunes, there will soon be a civil war. On the one side will be the MHP’s army and on the other will be the CHP. Youth doesn’t want projects of strife from us, but rather projects of peace… I leave open the question as to why the CHP has been unable to pass the election threshold’ (Sabah, May 24, 1999). When the MHP comes to power, did the supporters of the MHP attack the leftists?! Gunes’ words had nothing to do with political and social reality. He was parroting a prejudice that had stuck in his mind, that was all…
We know the prejudice that if the Justice and Development Party (AKP) comes to power, the regime will be in danger. The words ‘The AKP won the elections, so thank God there’s the army’ reflect this reflex. But the old patterns don’t hold in Turkey’s new, pluralist situation. Turkey is rapidly changing and liberalizing, thanks to modernizing dynamics such as urbanization, the market economy and our opening up to factors from abroad. Those who don’t adapt themselves to this change are becoming marginal both in the state and in society. For example, Erbakan’s being turned back by the nation is an indicator of this.
The new Turkey is developing new ways. The most clear-cut example of this is how the relationship between Erdogan and Baykal took the place of an old ideological and personally hostile mode. Baykal’s old ‘angry’ image played a role in the CHP’s receiving only 19% of the vote in Sunday’s elections. What would happen if Baykal acted like Hasan Fehmi Gunes? Then the CHP would be very unsuccessful. Now Baykal is receiving accolades for his constructive attitude. Now he’s contributing to concrete solutions to problems. Meanwhile, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is positioning himself as a ‘conservative democrat’ and lending hope to those who think he could become a statesman. If these modern ways continue even long after the election season, and if Turkey can get a date from the European Union for membership negotiations and solve its economic problems, not only will we have improved our situation, but also we will have found two alternative leaders who complement each other.”
 WILL THE AKP MAKE A GOOD MUSLIM DEMOCRATIC PARTY? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which came out on top in Sunday’s elections. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Will they make good Muslim democrats? This is the question occupying people’s minds in Turkey, the US and Europe, and even in other Muslim countries. Will the AKP, which, after Turkey’s long history of coalition governments finally has the chance to rule on its own, be able to take a stance similar to those of Europe’s Christian democratic parties? Will it be able to prove itself a Muslim democratic party? The ‘Muslim’ AKP’s taking such a democratic stance, in the middle-term, would be to Turkey’s benefit. It would also be an interesting partner for Europe. It would mean a great deal to the US, as the AKP will be a new model for other non- democratic Muslim countries.
Yet, the Arab Muslim countries would surely not like the idea of a democracy getting along with Islam, for that would spell the end for these countries ruled under monarchies or dictatorial regimes. Seen from such a perspective, AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have to face serious difficulties in dealing with his fundamentalist Islamist grassroots, which presumably constituted 10 percent of the party’s total 35 percent vote in Sunday’s elections, and to which Erdogan owes his leadership and his very presence in the political arena. On the other hand, there is the 25 percent of the people who voted for the AKP as a reaction against the incumbent leaders of the center-right, and whose concern was not religious but economic. The latter is such a group that once their economic demands are met, it will not turn its eyes to religion but to the modern world. Now, creating a delicate balance between these two groups of people is relatively easy while the country is moving into an economic recovery and increased prosperity. But what will happen after the nation reaches such a level of prosperity? This is a question to which there is as yet no answer.”
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